BJP's Pragya Singh Thakur, SP's Azam Khan are among candidates who stoked controversy during poll campaigns.
New Delhi: From BJP's Pragya Singh Thakur to SP's Azam Khan, candidates who courted controversies in the run-up to the 2019 general election have put up an impressive performance on their respective seats.
These candidates stoked controversy during the high-voltage campaign spread over two months, at times forcing the Election Commission to bar some of them from campaigning or inviting scrutiny from their own party's leadership.
Thakur, an accused in the 2008 Malegaon blasts, was leading by 3.63 lakh votes from Bhopal in Madhya Pradesh, according to the Election Commission data released at 8.50pm.
She had lauded Mahatma Gandhi's assassin Nathuram Godse as a "patriot", sparking furious a debate in the last lap of the seven-phase election.
Thakur has got 8,62,950 votes in the constituency, considered a stronghold of the BJP, against her nearest rival Digvijaya Singh of the Congress. Singh has got 5,00,518 votes.
The Congress had alleged that "insulting martyrs is in the DNA" of the BJP, which had also condemned her remarks. Thakur later apologised for the statement.
She also had to apologise for her remarks on 26/11 attacks martyr IPS officer Hemant Karkare, that she had "cursed" him for torturing her and falsely implicating her in the Malegaon blasts case.
Thakur was temporarily banned from campaigning for her hate remarks by the EC.
In 2014, BJP's Alok Sanjar had won the seat by a margin of 3,70,696 votes.
Singh, the Congress candidate, is not new to controversies either.
In March, just as the country was gearing up for polls, he said the Pulwama terror attack was an "accident".
In Uttar Pradesh, Azam Khan, the Samajwadi Party candidate, was leading by over one lakh votes on Rampur constituency. He had attracted widespread ire for his sexist jibes against one-time colleague and actor-politician Jaya Prada, his rival and BJP candidate on the seat.
"People of Rampur, people of Uttar Pradesh and people of India, it took you 17 years to understand her reality. But I could recognise in 17 days that she wears khaki underwear," he had said, without naming her.
Khan is facing an FIR for the remark, has got 5,59,018 votes against Jaya Prada who has got 4,48,630 votes.
BJP's Nepal Singh had won the seat by a margin of 23,435 votes in the last general election.
In Bihar, BJP's Giriraj Singh has won from Begusarai constituency by a margin of 4,22,217 votes. His main rival, CPI's Kanhaiya Kumar, got 2,67,917 votes.
In March, the veteran BJP leader was reported as saying that those not attending a rally of the prime minister that month would be deemed anti-national.
He, however, himself remained absence from that rally.
Begusarai seat was won by BJP's Bhola Singh by a margin of 58,335 votes in 2014 polls.
In the South, BJP's Nalin Kumar Kateel has won from Karnataka's Dakshina Kannanda.
The BJP candidate and sitting MP from Dakshina Kannada dove into the Godse controversy by comparing the assassin with with Rajiv Gandhi.
"Godse killed one, Kasab killed 72, Rajiv Gandhi killed 17,000. You judge who is more cruel in this??" Kateel tweeted, equating Godse, 26/11 attacks convict Ajmal Kasab and Rajiv Gandhi. He later retracted his remarks.
Kateel won the constituency by a margin of 2,74,621 votes. His main rival Mithun M Rai of Congress got 4, 99, 387 votes.
The BJP reprimanded him as well as Union minister Anant Kumar Hegde, its candidate on the Uttara Kannada constituency in the state, who also tweeted on Godse but later deleted his tweet.
Hegde, the sitting Lok Sabha member from the constituency, won the seat by getting 7,83,211 votes and defeated Janata Dal (Secular's) Anand Asnotikar.
BJP's young leader Tejasvi Surya, contesting from Karnataka's Bangalore South constituency, has also been declared a winner. Surya made several controversial statements over the last one year, retracting some and deleting some.
"Oh Hindus! When will you understand that a vote to today's Congress is a vote for yesterday's Muslim League? It's sad that this country treats a patriot like Veer Savarkar, who endured the greatest of pains for the motherland, in this manner. 2019 has so much at stake! he tweeted recently.
Surya won the seat by getting 7,36, 605 votes and defeated Congress's B K Hariprasad. In 2014, the seat was won by BJP's Ananth Kumar, who died last year.
BJP's Gurdaspur candidate and Bollywood star Sunny Deol has also won his seat.
He got 5,51,177 votes. Deol defeated Congress's Sunil Jakhar.
Jakhar got 4,74,168 votes. The seat was won by BJP's Vinod Khanna in 2014.
Deol was in the news for giving an unusual reply on Balakot air strikes, saying he didn't know much but only wanted to serve people.
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